Vienna, Austria: Discover What's New

Sunset in Vienna. Österreich Werbung/ Photos.
Sunset in Vienna. Österreich Werbung/ Photos.

What's New in Vienna?
Plenty of New To Do in the City

By Danielle Aihini

The capital of Austria, the City of Music, home to some of the most beautiful architecture in the world, Vienna has been ranked one of the world's most livable cities and has invited visitors from all over to bask in its glory.

Those who know Vienna know to visit the Schönbrunn Palace, take a ride on Wiener Riesenrad, the Ferris wheel at Prater, listen to the angelic voices Vienna State Opera’s singers, or any of the other popular attractions the city has to offer.

Ringstrasse near Parliament in Vienna in winter. Österreich Werbung/Grossauer Photos.
Ringstrasse near Parliament in Vienna in winter. Österreich Werbung/Grossauer Photos.
Man reading the newspaper on the train in Vienna. Andrew Castillo Photos.
Man reading the newspaper on the train in Vienna. Andrew Castillo Photos.

But, what about NEW Vienna? What is there to do, places to stay, things to see that are just popping up?

There is plenty new and plenty to do making your next trip to the historically rich city even more memorable.

The Famous Ringstrasse

In May of 1865, Emperor Franz Joseph opened Ringstrasse, the city’s main boulevard. This year the city celebrates the 150th anniversary of the beloved boulevard with special events and displays.

Make your way to The Lower Belvedere for an art exhibition dedicated to some of the most talented artists of the Ringstrasse era, The Wien Museum while they show the planning phase of the Boulevard, or The Jewish Museum Vienna to see how Jews played a major role on the famous street.

Schönbrunn Palace. Österreich Werbung/Wiesenhofer Photos.
Schönbrunn Palace. Österreich Werbung/Wiesenhofer Photos
Vienna Museums Quarter. Österreich Werbung/Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek Photos.
Vienna Museums Quarter. Österreich Werbung/Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek Photos.

The Austrian National Library is holding an exhibition that “focuses on Vienna’s transformation into an internationally respected metropolis.” Other anniversary exhibitions include The Achitekturzentrum Wien, one on Gustav Klimt and the Ringstrasse at Belvedere.

New Hotels in Vienna

The hotel scene in Vienna has grown tremendously in the past year giving more options to visitors. The Grand Ferdinand, a new hotel, will open on the famous Ringstrasse this fall. It is the Weitzer family’s fifth hotel in Austria and second in Vienna after Hotel Daniel where you will find contemporary art on the roof of the building.

”The Daniel already showed what modern approaches in the hospitality business and outside the box thinking can look like, so we are very much looking forward to this new project,” said Helena Hartlauer, a Vienna Tourist Board member responsible for U.S. media relations. “Opening a new hotel on Ringstrasse is a fantastic symbol of what this street stands for: tradition, history and at the same time dynamics and constant renewal.”

A former retirement home turned hotel, The Magdas Hotel, opened this fall next to the Prater Park. The hotel offers 78 budget rooms along with a library, cinema, and bicycle rentals. Hotel professionals and refugees run the hotel set up by the Caritas Wien charity.

An old shopping center on the Mariahilfer Strasse shopping street is being transformed into Hotel Cocoon Wilen which will welcome visitors come November 2015. The Hotel will house 372 beds near the Westbahnhof train station.
Even More Hotels!

Hotel Schani Wien opened this spring and was developed as a smart hotel. Run by a Viennese hotelier family, “the hotel will bring together the Viennese charm and state-of-the-art technology,” according to an Austrian press release.

The Star Inn Hotel Premium Wien Hauptbahnhof opened this April with 300 rooms while The Motel One Wien-Hauptbahnhof next door will house 400 rooms in its heritage listed building. “Ready in the middle of 2015, this will be the largest of the budget chain’s hotels in Austria”, according to the same press release.

The Ruby Sofie Hotel welcomes visitors in the third district with a total of 154 beds of clean luxury. Along with The Ruby Sofie, The Ruby Marie will be the second Ruby Hotel located on Mariahilferstrasse in the heart of Vienna with a roof top bar, event area, and cinema lounge.

Schönbrunn Palace opened the doors to its exclusive hotel suite last spring. “The 167 square-meter Schönbrunn Palace Suite in the east wing is brimming with regal charm. Features such as Maria-Theresa chandeliers, stucco work, and imperial damask echo the decorative style found elsewhere in the former Habsburg summer residence,” says the Vienna Tourist Board.
Austria’s tallest building, the DC Tower 1 has been home to Meliá Vienna Hotel since last February on the left bank of Danube. With 253 rooms and suites, the skyscraper was designed by architect Dominique Perrault and includes a rooftop bar and restaurant.

A coffee house in Vienna. Österreich Werbung/Ilgner Photos.
A coffee house in Vienna. Österreich Werbung/Ilgner Photos.

Explore the Latest Attractions
Next time you find yourself in Vienna, take a visit to the first Literature Museum of the Austrian National Library. The Museum highlights some of the most distinguished Austrian authors whose writing has been a hallmark in the city’s vivid history. Once you walk through the doors of the two story building, you will go back in time to the 18th century reliving Austrian literature from then to now.

The Ugly Tour

Looking for the unusual? On The Vienna Ugly Tour, you will see 19 of the ‘worst’ buildings from Karmelitermarkt to the heart of the first district. The humorous tour is hoped to stimulate debate over the possibilities for new architecture in a city known for its magnificent design. Who knows, maybe you’ll love what you see. As Author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford once said, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Tour the city in a hot rod on the Hotrod City Tour! Drive past Vienna’s main attractions like the Danube Canal, City Park, Schwarzenberg Platz and much more in your own personal hot rod, a small car with a large engine, similar to popular models like the Ford Motel T in the 1930s.

A new tour begins every two hours starting at 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Each tour costs about $110 or €99. This stimulating and innovative way of touring is bound to inspire adventure and creativity within any rider or car buff.

“If you already know Vienna’s first district and are looking for new areas to explore, just cross the bridge at Schwedenplatz into the second district,” said Teresa Faudon, another Vienna Tourist Board member. There you will find new concept stores, galleries, and restaurants to explore.

Modern and Trendy

A trendy spot in the heart of Vienna, Supersense, opened last June welcoming all to visit. The building includes (are you ready for all of this?) a coffee shop, a store full of eccentric products, a recording studio, a workshop and an analog vision and retail laboratory. Supersense prides itself on being a truly unique and contemporary spot for people of all ages to enjoy.

Petz in Gußhaus opened this January in the fourth district, the restaurant of internationally acclaimed Chef Christian Petz. The restaurant is a “very traditional restaurant serving honest Viennese Cuisine on a very high level,” said Hartlauer about one of her favorite eateries.

There is plenty of NEW in Vienna so now it’s up to you to discover it for yourself! Don’t hesitate to book a trip to The Imperial City and visit these recently developed locations -- maybe bring back a few Viennese desserts while you’re at it.